Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Taking a Stand or My Favorite Things Continued

     Asking me to pick my favorite book is like asking a grandmother to pick her favorite grandchild.  It isn’t right.  I think of books as dear friends.  I never get tired of them and, as the years go by, our bond grows stronger.  Unlike people, my books are available day or night.  I don’t have to call first or schedule an appointment.  Now, thanks to Amazon, I can even order something new and it is loaded to my Kindle within seconds.  Speaking of my Kindle, the old, “if you were stranded on an island and could only have one book”, scenario is null and void.  I never travel without my Kindle.  Granted, if there was no electricity on this mysterious “island”, I’d be in a pickle when the battery died but until then, it would be heaven.  Still keeping with the island scenario, if I didn’t have a Kindle, I’d still try to cheat.  I’d find a compendium; jam packed with as many of my favorites as possible. 
     Still, the question was asked so I guess I need to narrow it down.  Maybe it will be easier to choose from a category, or perhaps a genre, rather than one overall winner.  For example, my favorite Dr. Seuss book is Oh, the Places You’ll Go!  My favorite Shakespeare play is Macbeth.  My favorite MG is The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis.   
     Well, now I’ve done it.  I only got to middle grade and I’m already feeling guilty for leaving out some of my friends.  I guess categorizing doesn’t actually make it any easier.  It reminds me of that potato chip commercial, “Bet you can’t eat just one”.  Well, for me it would be, “bet you can’t choose just one”. 
     Okay, perhaps I need a new scenario.  If someone had a gun to my head and made me pick just one book to read for the rest of my life, I suppose I would choose, The Stand.  If you’ve been following my blog, you are well aware of my obsession with Stephen King, but this goes beyond simple fandom.  The Stand encompasses everything I love in a great book.  The characters are multi-dimensional and relatable.  The story keeps you on the edge of your seat while engaging all of your senses.  I can literally smell the decaying bodies as Larry blindly fumbles his way through the tunnel.  My body aches right along with Nick after he’s been beaten by those drunken rednecks.  Can’t you just taste Mother Abigail’s fried chicken with a side of sweet, corn on the cob and her homemade pies? 
     I love the way King depicts the battle between good and evil, both on a grand scale and on a personal level.  Each character must come to terms with the conflict waging within their own hearts, to choose their path for better or worse.  Some are deceived, some find love, and others are lost, but I can identify with their anguish and rejoice in the their triumphs.  I can see both my best friend and my worst enemy on his pages.  I’ve read The Stand so many times, I’ve lost count, but I find something new every time I open its well-worn cover.   In fact, I think it is time to bid you all goodnight so I can read it again.  Sleep well!

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